A new blog series that re-tells the stories that have shaped Wellspring Church
Jack Deere was only 12 years-old when his father decided that life wasn’t worth living. He took his own life, leaving behind a wife with an eighth grade education and four young children. It’s no surprise that Jack grew up poor and prodigal.
Surely nobody imagined that the fatherless boy from the East side of Forth Worth would one day become a passionate Christ-follower, a biblical scholar, a best-selling author, and a church pastor. Jack’s trajectory completely changed at the age of 17 when he trusted Christ for forgiveness and new life. Soon afterward, Jack met a man named Scott Manley.
Scott was a YoungLife leader, and he became the father Jack had been missing. He taught Jack many things—how to read and memorize Scripture, how to be generous, how to be a man of God, and when he deemed Jack ready for it, how to be a good YoungLife leader.
“A good YoungLife leader remembers peoples’ names,” Scott told him.
I met Jack many years later, when he was the Senior Pastor of Wellspring Church. I was a Financial Analyst at the time, so I’d make the drive after work for Jack’s Wednesday Night “School of the Spirit” (SOS) meetings. After my first meeting, I walked to the front and introduced myself to Jack. I was one of probably a hundred people who did the same thing.
The next week, I rolled in just a few minutes before the SOS meeting. As I walked across the parking lot toward the Worship Center, I saw Jack on the far side, heading the same direction. He looked up and called out: “Michael!”
I couldn’t believe he remembered my name—we’d only met that one time!
That was the beginning of my and Jack’s friendship. Within a year, he invited me to become his Youth Pastor, and in time, he became a spiritual father to me. Jack taught me many things: how to read and memorize Scripture, how to be generous, how to be a man of God, and… how to remember names (he actually has a method for this). When he deemed me ready, he handed over the leadership of the church—that was in 2012.
From Scott Manley to Jack Deere to Michael Rowntree to many others, disciple-making is built into the fabric of Wellspring Church. I’m not talking about disciple-making programs, although they have their place. I’m talking about spiritual fathers and mothers who are willing to lay down their lives for love.
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).
If you're interested in joining us on the journey--either as a disciple, or as a disciple-maker--please leave a comment below, or on social media! We'd love to help you on your journey.